Eala Chapter 11
Carlisle's home office is nothing like what I would have pictured. He has photos of Edward, ranging from when he was a baby up until he graduated high school. Same goes with his other boys along with pictures of each of their weddings. After I announced I took the picture of the man and his wife, we, or should I say, they, decided that the conversation needed to be moved to the Cullen estate.
Conversation has been flowing around me, but I only hear bits and pieces.
"How did your father die?" Carlisle asks, bringing me out of my reverie.
I turn and look at him. Everything clicks. Cullen. My father's secret folders in the safe. I only looked once because I couldn't stand knowing my dad would never looking at them again. I didn't look further, and never looked at the contents of that safe again.
"A bullet to the head," I grind out, staring at him and debating how to approach the subject. "I had to listen to him getting beat on for seven hours straight, and there was nothing I could do about it. I had to stay quiet, hidden. My dad never caved, instead taunting them and giving the men a promise that even after his death he would take them down."
I walk closer to Carlisle, pressing my palms to the top of his desk. "Those men came into my home. How they found us has always been lost to me. Now I'm wondering, was it because of you?"
I watch his Adam's apple bob; his eyes divert from mine. "Timpiste a bhí ann."
Edward is lightning fast as he wraps his arm around my waist, pulling me away as I start screaming in rage. "SEVEN HOURS!"
"Leanbh, calm down, gra." Edward's smooth voice breaches the red vision aimed at his dad. The adrenaline leaves my body in a rush, causing me to collapse and cry.
Edward holds me as I break down. I faintly hear the door open and close.
"I hate him, and I want him dead." I barely recognize my own voice, thinking Carlisle has left the room, leaving just me and Edward.
Edward rubs my back as I curl more into his chest. "I know, gra, I'm sorry."
"You shouldn't be the one apologizing." I get my breathing under control as I sit in his lap on the floor.
"You're right, he shouldn't be. I should." Carlisle sits in a chair near where I'm sitting in Edwards lap.
I jerk up, narrowing my eyes at him.
"Your father was Charles McSuaine; the McSuaine family are born and raised mercenaries. Your father and I grew up around each other since our families had an arrangement of sorts." He sighs, rubbing his face.
"Your da was the best of the best, but he was shunned from the family. I didn't know why, it wasn't my business, but when I got word of it I wanted to know where he was. Finding a man like McSuaine is nearly impossible, but I remembered his woman and the name she went by. I looked her up, and I found out she was buried in a plot in the small hick town of Forks." He pauses. "I didn't dig any further, but I must not have hid my tracks well, either."
I take in this information. "It's going to take a long time for me to ever think of you as more than the reason for my dad's death. But I am going to help this family, because I love Edward."
Edward kisses my temple. "I love you, leanbh."
"I think it's time I go back to the cabin and get everything that my father left there for me," I announce.
Two sets of eyes focus on me.
"My father had a safe in a cabin that doesn't exist as far as anyone knows. There is no way to get to it unless you walk through fifteen miles of forest, and even then, if you don't know it's there, you aren't going to see it. Dad kept everything there, including his will. I left it there because I couldn't bear to read it, but I think it's time I do that." I look at Edward, hoping he understands.
He nods. "I'll go with you."
I stare at the house. I never sold it, never kept it up, either. The yellow paint is chipped everywhere, the windows boarded up. The gutters are dangling against the house, and it looks like the roof has holes in it.
I can hear Edward breathing hard just from the hike to the house. I made him park at a local hiking spot a few miles up the road that happens to cross into the land the house sits on. It's far back from the road, with trees all but hiding the mile-long driveway. We can see the makeshift obstacle course on the left side of the house that is near a creek that leads into the woods. On the other side is what my dad set up as a gun range.
Many emotions overwhelm me as the memories assault me. I shut my eyes, breathing in the fresh forestry air. I feel a tear fall down my cheek.
"Leanbh," Edward murmurs as he presses against my back.
I let out a harsh breath. "We'll go in for a minute, take a small break, then we'll begin the hike to the cabin. Hopefully we'll make it before nightfall."
"Why are we being so extremely cautious?" Edward asks as we walk into the house.
The inside looks better than the outside, not as weathered. But it is dusty and has a mildewed smell.
I turn to Edward, who is wearing dark tan cargo pants with a black tee and tan boots. He looks so fucking good, it has me on edge.
I know I need to answer him. "I think someone very close to your dad is the leak. I got to thinking about what your dad said about the trail he left while looking for my dad. It doesn't really add up. How could a random woman's name and location trigger a hunt for my dad? Also, that new shipment? Only six of you knew of it and had a hand in it." I pause, taking a drink of water. "I really don't like Carlisle, but I believe him when he says he didn't dig further than what he did. So, it begs the question, who was looking for my father? How would they know that my father was looking into anything worth being killed over?"
His brow furrows as he contemplates what I said.
"I was just thinking out loud, and until I have proof otherwise, I don't trust anyone but you." I find myself in front of Edward, my hand in the middle of his chest. I stare into his eyes, hoping for understanding.
"I think you're on to something, but let's wait until we get to the cabin where we know it's safer to talk." He gives me a brief kiss, and as much as I want to deepen it, I know he's right. We need to get to the cabin before it gets dark.
If Edward wasn't with me, I'm sure I could get there in two hours, tops, but instead I'm thinking somewhere between three and four. We head out the back door, holding hands as we enter the forest, taking a long-forgotten path that my dad and I use to run.
We continue to hold hands for a good majority of the walk, but as the sun begins to hide behind the trees I start a slow jog that Edward can keep up with for the last leg of the hike.
The sun is barely cutting through the trees, but luck happens to be on our side. The well-hidden cabin is outlined by the sun's rays in just the right way as we jog up to it.
I stop, my breathing still even. Edward, who is breathing heavy and looking around him with furrowed brows, has his hands clasped behind his head. "Why have we stopped, leanbh?"
"We made it." I smile and point to the place I called home for two years. There is more moss and the trees and bushes are thicker than ever, surrounding the wood and brick building.
"Where?" he asks, confusion laced in his voice as he circles around, looking for it.
I chuckle, grabbing his arm and leading him to the door. I hear him gasp as I open it.
It's just as I remember it, everything in the same place as I left it, but with an added several inches of dust. I keep the door open to help air it out. I drop my bag, walking around to open all the windows as well.
I walk to the back of the cabin and start the generator. Then I flip the lights on and memories of my time here flood my senses.
The many nights I stared at the ceiling from that couch. The times I cried and cried as I leaned against the safe trying to talk myself into opening it.
The walls covered in pictures, some that I took of my dad and me, some he took of just me. Others are instructional posters on different subjects.
I try to pull in air, but I can only gasp for breath.
"Gra." Edward pulls me to him as I shake and continue to wheeze. In this moment, I realize how much I've suppressed just to survive day to day. But it's no longer an option.
"It's all finally caught up," I say between sobs.
Timpiste a bhí ann~ It was an accident.